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If you have a DH you should probably use it

Apr 28, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

Pfun Pfact, via FanGraphs: The White Sox, Indians, Athletics, Red Sox and Mariners have DHs that are hitting worse than the pitchers for the Astros and Diamondbacks. Pitchers for the Padres and Rockies are hitting better than the DHs for Boston and Seattle.

In other news, Jermaine Dye and Gary Sheffield are out of work for some reason,Jack Cust is playing in the minor leagues and Jim Thome blows a kiss to Ozzie Guillen from afar.

Some of this is likely to improve soon, of course. For one thing, Austin Kearns’ recent raking is likely to lead to more of him and less of Travis Hafner in Cleveland.  Likewise, Terry Francona’s increasing comfort with pinch hitting for and simply not starting David Ortiz is the sort of thing that can snowball into something fun. Like, say, the Sox simply deciding that Mike Lowell is the better DH option and sending Big Papi packing.

  1. BC - Apr 28, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    Carlos Delgado is out there too. Plus you had a lot of other relatively functional hitters (Johnny Gomes comes to mind) struggling to even find jobs this year who would be better options than some of the drekk that teams are using at DH. I don’t get it.
    Heck maybe one of these teams could grab Micah Owings and have him multi-task…

  2. (Not That) Tom - Apr 28, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    Sure, the Astros’ and Diamondbacks’ pitchers may hit better than the Mariners’ DHs but they definitely can’t tickle better.

  3. Old Gator - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    It’s time to euthanize the DH. Let the major leagues stick to real baseball. Some of the minor leagues could keep the DH, and Fox could run those games on its Trailer Park Network subsidiary for the Tea Party types with the double-digit IQs.

  4. BC - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    I agree. I see too many times where the DH either 1) is used by the richer teams to stockpile more hitting; or 2) is occupied by a player that other than being able to swing a bit a little bit is no longer capable of playing (think, Jim Thome – and going back in the day, Don Baylor, Tony Perez).
    If the DH had come along in, say, 1963 or so, Mickey Mantle would have played until he was 50.
    It’s gotta go. I mean, think of all the fun you missed by not seeing David Wells bat. Or Oil Can Boyd.

  5. Ryan - Apr 28, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Bah. Real… that is nonsense. Old people and their silly ideas. Pitchers batting and Manny Ramirez / Adam Dunn playing the field? Sounds like something one would only dare place into an episode of The Twilight Zone.

  6. Old Gator - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    Indeed. Rod Serling saved minds. Proof? Fewer Republicans back then. And you’ll never catch an episode of Twilight Zone running on the Trailer Park Network. Too much of the audience would shake their heads in bewilderment, crank the kitchen out and go make a spam sandwich. Anyway, imagine baseball tradition without Manny getting hit on the head by a fly ball. Imagine the humorlessness of a Gnats season without Adam Dunn diving for a bunt – and missing it. Now what exactly does the designated hitter add in the way of fun? Nada. The mere substitution of a form of upper-thoracic brutality, circumscribed, as BC so astutely observed, by drilled out patellas.

  7. Robert - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    The DH has really always been players who can’t field anymore. Orlando Cepeda was the first player signed to be just a DH. That was in the first year the AL used the DH. I’d rather not see pitchers bat than have to see Jim Thome field.

  8. Ryan - Apr 28, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    I think I’d be more concerned of a repeat of the reaction to HG Wells’ radio drama in the trailer park if their channel (no, not FOX (no, not Speed either)) allowed them to watch The Twilight Zone. But I digress, while I would miss Manny high-fiving fans, it’s not so much the addition to fun that the DH makes, but the suppression of fun that having the pitcher bat makes.

  9. Old Gator - Apr 28, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    That’s a matter of perspective. Wait’ll the next time the DH for the visitors cranks a walkoff dinger against the team you’re rooting for. You’ll be wishing that had been the pitcher at bat – except if it was Micah Owings or George Ruth, I mean.
    I’ve got a recording of that Mercury Theater War of the Worlds. It’s awfully sophisticated stuff, and I suspect the average Trailer Park Network viewer would expect Sarah Palin to protect him even if he were able to figure out that it implied some sort of threat, much less being able to make sense of an episode of Twilight Zone. Most of the people who panicked in 1938 were educated people who could afford a radio, back when they weighed four tons in their mahogany consoles. The Trailer Park Network viewers are programmed to riot when they hear any of a very limited number of sound bites like “healthcare reform” and “Indonesian Birth Certificate.”

  10. Chris Simonds - Apr 28, 2010 at 2:34 PM

    Also replying to Ryan and BC, I will say, in lieu of the fact that this post got completely shanghaied away from baseball, that I have some experience with antique radios and many were encased in pressed wood (inexpensive) or Bakelite (expensive, but less than mahogany) or cheaper (at the time) woods like maple, weighed much less than early televisions, and were purchased by the middle class. According to Orson Welles, who might have known something about it, “the only people who panicked were the rubes”, though Welles has been known to exaggerate for effect. Actually, very few people panicked, but it made, and still makes, a great urban legend, so the story persists. In other news, wanna-be, wordy elitists are still disliked by many (and not necessarily unintelligent or unlettered) people, even Terry Francona has come to realize that David Ortiz at his best was a natural .260 hitter (the way he was in Minnesota), has decayed since, and only got his spectacular results when he took steroids and hit in front of Manny Ramirez; and, finally, this long sentence has tired me out.

  11. Old Gator - Apr 28, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Well, I do credit the middle class, even back in 1938, with an education and the wherewithal to buy a radio of even indeterminate tonnage. I’m not sure I would credit much of it with that wherewithal these days, and certainly not with a comparable level of education. I still cringe when I watch episodes of Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary and see those beautiful, elegant letters penned home by farm boys and millworkers, then recall some of the incoherent fiascoes masquerading as term papers by kids from privileged as well as bourgeois households that I used to have to grade.
    That there’s widespread resentment of the educated was made patently clear when this sorry country of ours twice elected a corrupt, lying dimwit who could construct neither complex English sentences (and often couldn’t manage simple ones either) nor form the coherent complex thoughts which usually stand behind them in lucid minds. I don’t doubt they’d love the English language to shed something like seventy five percent of is content, along with the burdensome necessity to learn any more of it than they already have been spoon fed. Unfortunately, their expectation that the world itself would simultaneously shed an equal component of its own complexity would probably doom them to some serious disappointments.

  12. pisano - Apr 29, 2010 at 1:32 AM

    If they let Ortiz back on the juice he’ll start hitting . Another poster stated they ought to give Ortiz a contract extension . Hell , it did wonders for Beckett’s era . If Theo keeps making these brilliant moves he could be the GM for Julio’s Bail Bonds and Taco Shop before too long . Keep up the good work senor Theo .

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